Last night, I was left sitting on a couch in the Gramercy waiting for a friend. For a long time I sat and said nothing. Finally he said, “I was in the theater you know. I was in the theater. Would you like a glass of juice.” He’s lived at the hotel a long time, I think, so I said, “What’s your rent. I’m from Montana.”
He said, “You’re like Annie Hall. That’s a good girl.” So I asked again, but he didn’t say anything. But I couldn’t leave, and by then I was sitting on an ottoman to stay sane. I drank a glass of juice.
Phillipa came back. “You left me alone! Never have I been so alone! Never again!” She said, “Kaitlin, you always say that when you’re drunk. Always.” I stole his permanent elevator card.
Later, the caftan woman who paid for my cab said, “Now you’re a fun sort of New York girl but I’m no Rona Jaffe.” We got to Lucien’s in the middle of some artist’s dinner, and the fat-faced art dealer at the head of the table with the “ring inscribed with the Pope’s private line” wanted to know my “opinion as a 30-year-old woman.”
I said, “You know what it was we just didn’t have a Radcliffe.” I wrote the Pope’s number on the white tablecloth. I was pretending to be an artist still, or maybe it was that I “no longer worked, not with my personality the way it is, it’s fine.”
At some point a man whose work I read as a child was like, “What you seem to be doing, and I’ve only known you these two nights, is aging.” In the cab home I thought, I am a New York girl. I am! And You Marxists say I don’t understand. But I do, I do.
Hanna Liden once told me, “I don’t like new faces.” It was the first thing she said after we were introduced. She ignored me for the rest of dinner. Two people patted me on the head while I talked. Can’t believe I didn’t think to lean in and whisper, “Anne Frank was a Gemini, too.”
Feel like I might have hit it off with my generation if they had bothered to read The Ghost Writer. I spilled a vodka soda on Philip Roth at one of those New York Public Library galas. I did it on purpose. I feel like he resented it. I know because he said, “I resent this.”
Three men have reached out and touched my forehead in the last month and said, “You don’t have any wrinkles.” Going to be a real barn burner when I start touching back! “Is this what we call paunch, sir?” Actually one of them was a woman. I told my ex-boyfriend and he was like, “The thing is she’s so successful, she’s a man now.” Uh huh.
Having a dental issue and this man on the subway asked “What are you thinking?” And I said, “My mouth hurts.” Anyway, he was reading The Giver. I’m at the house party on Riverside Drive again and the sushi is only OK. Everyone’s son is a film producer too. A man called me “little girl.” I said, “I must go home and draw up my plans. Suicide by Easy Bake oven is very technical you know.”
There are three men who for all intents and purposes are 40 years old responding to all my emails, and I’m paraphrasing here, with “Nice email, honey.” My ex-boyfriend is all, “I wish I could see Shampoo for the first time.” But I only feel that about hiking Arthur’s Seat on morning glory seeds. I was with this fat Indian kid who periodically shouted, “That’s right, leave the minority behind.” He chain-smoked the entire way uphill. Later, I stole his Metallica T-shirt. He was a physics major, which was the department I was into at the time. Like how my old roommate fucked the whole swim team.
The majority of my Facebook messages are from this Barnard girl who, in 2012, asked me if I wanted a bump of heroin outside our Milton seminar. Let’s just say one of us graduated on time and I didn’t at all.
My dad accidentally forwarded me an email chain where he said, “My middle child acts like an artist. Dare I ask where the art is!” The rest of the email said, “The frost has not left the ground, so the yard/garden is an anticipatory solace! I make my own potting soil now.” He actually defined potting soil as “home compost, coconut fiber and vermiculite.” And said, of me, “I must have forgotten youth.”
My therapist (at home) wants me to “visualize a life in Brooklyn.” She wouldn’t if she knew she was advising me to sleep with Jonathan Ames. I’m really proud of everyone still dating writers. I’m really proud of everyone who is still writing.
Trying to be more authentic the second time around. Trying not to use any of the universal gestures that signal a woman is beyond help. I feel like I have a gaping hole in my life and it isn’t my vagina for once. Phillipa said that. Fact: Adults know whether or not the cabbie should take the West Side Highway. Other facts: I am not an adult; I know the wrong adults.
Got rid of my fake nails and feel plagued by body dysmorphia. I can’t even tell you, I feel like a new mother or a poet. Deformed anyway.
I emailed a friend that his friend was “never going to speak to me for our whole lives what the fuck.” He says, “It’s been a week and a half, Kaitlin.” It’s sort of like whenever I tell my ex-boyfriend I love him and he emails “Your ahistoricism is showing, baby.” Ex-boyfriend says I “go through life with silly fears.” And I haven’t even told him I googled my dream last night and it means “a man is trying to discredit you.” The Rolling Stone secretary googled my dreams herself. Technically she said “a man or woman will discredit you in the future. Or today.”
I would never do this, but here’s an email from a man: “’/’ implies inclusion of both terms in a more general set, not identity of the two terms.” If you missed that he was defining a slash. I babysat my friend’s baby today. At the museum I told this gay man, “My daughter is a culture vulture.” He said, “You are a beautiful young mother.” It’s funny because I spend an hour each day drinking coffee at Cheekie’s until they give me free sad single-lady donuts but now I’m a damn mom.
Homeless man outside the Loho Deli said, “Take me to the boom boom room and blow me.” Elevated his status to niche. Just like you.
How late do you show up to dinner? Is it directly proportional to ego, years lived in New York, the other person’s ego, whether they’re from London? If you once said, in bed, “You wouldn’t date me,” and he said nothing in response, and then, a good time later, “Oh. Good night,” giving your left shoulder blade a vague conciliatory pat, charge four cocktails to his tab and refuse to eat. If you took the opportunity to say, “I am not not an unsympathetic character, okay” after he said good night, you are … early for dinner.
The thing about the old poets is they’re quite honest about hating the younger poets. An old poet said, “Talking to him is like talking to cement.” His friend, also old, said, “You know the thing about cement though is it knows it’s cement.” The younger poets say, “Hi Kaitlin. ACTUALLY. I’m on drugs.” The younger poets seem to be feeling a lot. Like quite often they say, “Sorry I didn’t email you I was dead inside of late but now is now now.” Things poets like: eye contact.
The thing about Marxists is they don’t even care if they are having sex with a Marxist. Seems disingenuous in my opinion. I like how the Marxists say, “We’re ALL ages,” like it’s rollerskating night in the Midwest. The thing about writers is they are liars. The thing about artists is they say things like: “I am an artist.” The thing about your enemies is they Gchat: “You should be an artist.” Writers love to forward things, hate being forwarded. The thing about older writers is you never remind them of them. Older writers remind me of me.
Email I received October 29, 2014: “Go write a novel already, you’re becoming a net negative as a scene person.”